knock·​about ˈnäk-ə-ˌbau̇t How to pronounce knockabout (audio)
: suitable for rough use
knockabout clothing
: being noisy and rough : boisterous
knockabout games
: characterized by boisterous antics and often extravagant burlesque
knockabout comedy
of a sailing vessel : having a simplified rig marked by absence of bowsprit and topmast
a knockabout sloop
knockabout noun

Examples of knockabout in a Sentence

He lived a knockabout life in the city. a knockabout game of football in the mud
Recent Examples on the Web Though thematically vague, thinly plotted and without a reliably sympathetic soul to cling to, the movie has a mutinous energy and an absurd, knockabout charm; even its violence is more quirky than brutal. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'knockabout.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of knockabout was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near knockabout

Cite this Entry

“Knockabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


knock·​about ˈnäk-ə-ˌbau̇t How to pronounce knockabout (audio)
: being noisy and rough : boisterous
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